Ghana opens cup with a big mismatch
FRANCEVILLE, Gabon - The Associated Press
Ghanaian Coach Goran Stevanovic (L) leads his players during a training session at Ngouoni field in Franceville.Four-time African Cup of Nations champion Ghana is an overwhelming favorite to beat first-timer Botswana in the opening round of matches in Group D tonight, even if the country’s vice president is worried about an upset.
John Dramani Mahama warned Ghana’s players at their training camp in Gabon that they should avoid complacency against underdog Botswana, which also will be weakened by injury on its debut.
Ghana has to do without suspended defender Isaac Vorsah in Franceville, but the inexperienced Botswana squad will seriously miss forward Joel Mogorosi, who broke his arm at training last week.
Injury problems were also mounting for Mali coach Alain Giresse before the Eagles face Guinea in the second match at Stade de Franceville tonight. “We will do whatever it takes to get the best performance,” said Giresse.
The Black Stars were visited at training on Jan. 22 by Mahama, with the team attempting to end a 30-year title drought at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
“Every country came to this tournament on merit so you should avoid complacency,” Mahama told the players.
After Senegal fell to Zambia in its opening game and Ivory Coast was pushed hard by Sudan, the tournament has already seen strong performances from underdogs following a qualifying competition that produced a string of upset results.